Bohemians open Parton’s 9 to 5 at King’s
The Bohemians open their new production of 9 to 5 The Musical at the King’s this week and audiences should expect some tantalising dance moves from the cast, to go along with Parton’s music and lyrics.
Based on the 1980 movie, the musical has a book by Patricia Resnick and was nominated for four Tony awards after opening on Broadway in 2009.
Kat Croan is taking on the Dolly Parton role of Doralee who concocts a plan with her co-workers Violet and Judy to get even with their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical, bigoted boss – Franklin Hart.
“She’s a gorgeous looking girl who just wants to be taken seriously,” Kat Croan told Æ. “She is not really well liked at the beginning but through lots of camaraderie and lots of Girl Power, the girls become the best of friends and win the day.”
There is plenty of fun at the expense of men in the show, with Doralee, Violet and Judy living out their wildest fantasy and giving their boss the boot. But playing a role made famous by such an iconic figure is not all easy.
“She is such a recognisable character, so there is a lot of pressure that comes with that,” concedes Croan. “But I feel that I would have not been chosen for it if the guys did not think that I could embody all that Dolly embodies.
having the heart behind it
“It is about embodying the whole girl power thing, but also the physicality of it is a really important part to Dolly and Doralee as well. It is looking great but having the heart behind it. I think that that is what is the important message is behind Doralee’s character.”
Besides its critical success, 9 to 5 is a huge popular hit, touring to the Playhouse twice in recent years. And although Bohemians’ production will look pretty similar, in terms of the set, director Jon Cuthbertson says it will have a very different feel.
“Our direction is a bit different in the way we have worked with the principals,” says Cuthbertson. “With the characters, we just tried to find more of the heart from each of them and get something so that they have got a connection together.
“In style, our three girls are very different as well, so we have made that work for us. There is different style to the production.”
That difference in style has been built from the rehearsal process, according to Pauline Dickson who is playing Violet.
“We are realising the difference in the characters,” she told Æ “Each character changes through the show. Violet is the manager, she is in control, the one that runs it all. But she has times where she is vulnerable, and Doralee is the one that actually is in control.
the right moves
“In the show, Doralee is the PA that runs it and she just has a way of keeping the calm and keeping everything going, even although there are all the different strong characters around her.”
After the characterisation, the big way a company can stamp its own mark on a production like 9 to 5, is in the choreography. Dominic Lewis is the Bohemians’ choreographer and it is up to him to find the right moves to support the storytelling and the music.
“Most of the choreography is my own work,” he says. “There is nothing which is iconic on this show, nothing like Greased Lightning [in Grease] which you have to put in. That makes it more fun – everyone has different strengths in the cast and it is good to bring those out.”
So what sort of choreography can audiences expect?
“There are loads of different styles, which makes if really exciting to play with,” says Lewis with a laugh. “There is everything from jazz to hip hop numbers.
“There is all these dream sequences, where they are basically tripping. We have jazz and then a real cowboy number and then we have the Potion Notion, which is basically Snow White and the Seven Dwarves meets acid.”
What a way to make a living, indeed!
9 to 5 The Musical
King’s Theatre, 2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ.
Wednesday 15 to Saturday 18 March
Evenings: 7.30pm; Matinee, Sat: 2.30pm.
Tickets and details: http://www.edtheatres.com/9-to-5
Bohemians website: http://bohemians.org.uk